I’ve been thinking a lot about biking lately. I’ve been biking as a form of transportation for a long time. But for the longest time I’ve been a complete wimp about it. The instant there was so much a drop of rain (and in Seattle that happens quite a bit) I’d walk or take the bus, and usually I would pack the bike away once fall started.
But last year I had an epiphany. I had been house sitting for a friend and one of the fringe benefits I got out of it was getting to use his SUV. I hadn’t driven for years and so it was nice to have the luxury of going beyond my usual area of travel and do some errands for items that did not fit in my backpack. But the real great thing that became apparent over the week was that not counting anything that involved the highway that once you considered things like congestion and parking there really wasn’t that much difference between riding a bicycle time wise.
So I decided that this year I would not stop biking when the weather started getting bad. And taking the bus would be reserved for going downtown and pouring rain. It wasn’t pretty while contrary to popular belief rarely pours here it does just about everything else. While I refuse to whine about it let’s just say I became a master of waterproofing my backpack and it rarely gets that cold in this town my Yankee knowledge of layering has come in handy time and time again.
And despite the hardships it definitely began to pay off before I knew it I was biking places I had normally taken relaxed hikes to and found myself very surprised that I had an extra hour of free time to use on my way their. Soon I was biking everywhere north of the Ship Canal and felt safe going as far south as Mercer Ave. And of course now that busfare is up to 2.25$ I’m saving a fortune.
Now that the weather has finally turned around it’s nice for it to be a luxury yet again.
This weekend I took the next step. As I said earlier I decided to try biking to the Seattle Center for the Folklife festival. It turned out to be a great success and I ended up commuting on my bike for the rest of the weekend (16 miles round trip) While I think I regret it slightly I’m still a bit stiff right now I know if I keep it up (easier said than done working in a home office I don’t have to go anywhere every day) I can improve exponentially.
More thoughts on this to come.